On this occasion Minister for European Affairs Nicolai Wammen states:
“Today Serbia and Kosovo have reached a very important agreement which strengthens the stability of the Western Balkans and paves the way for an enhancement of their relations with the EU. I welcome the agreement and see it as an important contribution ahead of our council meeting on Tuesday. Today’s agreement fulfils two important criteria from December before granting Serbia candidate status. Even though Serbia does not recognise Kosovo, a solution has been found regarding the integrated management of crossing points. And there is agreement on regional cooperation. The agreement is proof that both Serbia and Kosovo want to move on, both bilaterally and in their relations with the EU.”
The negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo have taken place in Brussels and have been facilitated by the EU. After nine rounds of negotiations an agreement was reached on the sensitive issue of integrated management of crossing points. The parties can now start work to put the agreement in to practice.
Also, a solution was also found regarding Kosovo’s participation in regional meetings. Serbia has so far insisted on UNMIK speaking on behalf of Kosovo, due to its non-recognition. The new agreement makes sure that Kosovo in regional meetings will be able to speak on its own behalf and sign new agreements on its own account. The agreed solution entails that the denomination of ‘Kosovo’ is supplemented by a footnote which, i.a., takes into account Serbia’s concerns.
On Tuesday 28 February 2012 the Council (General Affairs) will meet to decide whether Serbia should be granted candidate status. The meeting will be chaired by Minister for European Affairs Nicolai Wammen.